Over the past two years, Gabrielle has worked within the Children and Family Services Program – both at Sanctuary’s large transitional shelter, Sarah Burke House, as well as the Bronx Family Justice Center. Most recently, Gabrielle has volunteered her time and talents with Sanctuary’s chapter of the Brooke Jackman Family Literacy Program that runs both in the fall and spring. The Brooke Jackman Program hosts several families each week and runs a series over eight weeks of activities that include: reading, arts & crafts and dinner.
Gabrielle is currently a Masters of Social Work student at Columbia University and came to Sanctuary as an intern with previous experience and academic knowledge that has been an asset to her work with children. Each Wednesday, Gabrielle works eight hours at her school partnered internship, volunteers with Sanctuary in the Bronx, and then attends classes shortly thereafter! We are so incredibly grateful for her dedication to the program and our clients.
With her experience and commitment, Gabrielle has become an invaluable part of the Brooke Jackman program. She easily connects with all of the families who attend the group.
“Her energy, willingness to be helpful, and engagement is always the same” — Waleska Tatis, Program Coordinator, Clinical Department’s Children and Family Services.
Gabrielle is also a very empowering voice for many of the children in the Program. She encourages everyone’s unique artistic style that really helps the children to build confidence. Waleska spoke fondly about a time when Gabrielle was able to connect with a particular child.
“During one of the cycles, we had 4-year-old boy, from a family of five, who wanted to be seen as older and independent although everyone in the family kept doing things for him. During an arts & crafts activity, Gabby was able to help him, without taking away his independent thoughts and will. The family acknowledged his skills, congratulating him, making him feel like a big boy instead of the baby of the house. He was super thankful, even his speech improved with his confidence.”
The Brooke Jackman program has been incredibly successful over the years, and it would not be possible without the help of volunteers like Gabrielle.
We thank Gabrielle for her amazing commitment to Sanctuary’s staff and clients! Her impact reaches far beyond what can be captured in words. The experiences, memories, and confidence she instills in the family participants will last long after the stories she reads to them each week.